Roasted Turkey & Cornbread Stuffing
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: lots of leftovers
 
Roasted turkey at its best, with traditional Cornbread stuffing! This one turns out moist and golden every time. Perfect for turkey day or any holiday with lots of family & friends!
What to get:
For the Turkey:
  • 1 18-lb fresh turkey, thawed
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • sea salt for seasoning uncooked bird
  • 1 stick butter, melted for basting
For the Cornbread Stuffing:
  • 1 pan freshly-made cornbread (according to yellow corn meal directions, omit any sugar)
  • 1 bunch celery, trimmed, and finely chopped (I use food processor)
  • 1 large sweet onion, or 2 small, finely chopped (I use food processor)
  • 1 stick of butter (for sauteeing onion & celery)
  • Poultry Seasoning
  • 1.5 T fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1.5 T fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • ½ tsp Herbox, chicken bullion powder
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 egg
  • 1 can chicken stock, low-sodium, to moisten & bind stuffing before stuffing bird
What to do:
Make the Stuffing:
  1. Make a pan of cornbread according to the corn meal package directions, but omitting any sugar, let cool, and then crumble coarsely in large mixing bowl.
  2. In large skillet melt 1 stick of butter, sauté onion and celery till tender, add entire pans contents & remaining juices to bowl with cornbread, stirring to combine.
  3. Add dry seasoning to taste including poultry seasoning, salt, pepper.
  4. Add fresh thyme & herbox.
  5. Taste to confirm spices are as desired & add slightly beaten egg, some chicken stock to moisten mixture for stuffing bird.
Prep & Stuff the Bird:
  1. Bird should be thoroughly defrosted, removed from package, rinsed, internals removed, and patted dry.
  2. Rub uncooked bird with some of canola oil on outside & salt lightly, also adding some salt into inside cavities in neck and rear where stuffing will go.
  3. Spoon or manually pack stuffing mix into bird's main cavity, do not over pack as stuffing will expand while cooking.
  4. Fix bird in roaster on spray oiled rack, or in turkey convection oven on oiled rack, breast side up!
  5. Add little of remaining stuffing to smaller neck cavity, securing skin flap fold over the cavity opening and securing with toothpicks as possible.
  6. Secure end of turkey legs through skin flap near cavity if still intact, or use cooking twine to secure ends of legs together.
Roast the Bird:
  1. Roast bird according to convection oven directions (at around 325-375 degrees), until internal breast temperature reaches 180 degrees and internal stuffing temp reaches 165 degrees.
  2. Baste bird with melted butter every 40 minites-1 hour.
  3. In a table top turkey convection oven liked I used, bake 18 lb bird for first hour at 425 degrees, then reducing to 400 degrees for remaining 3.5 hours or until meat thermometer shows correct temp.
  4. In a standard oven for a large turkey breast I roasted at 325 for 1.5-2.5 hours or until done. Mine took about 2 hours and was 5 lbs.
  5. When turkey is golden brown & at temperature, remove from oven letting bird rest for ~40 minutes before carving.
  6. Remove stuffing from internal cavities and transfer to serving dish before carving.
  7. Reserve all turkey drippings for use in making the brown gravy (using drippings, gravy flour, water, chicken broth, bullion, pepper & white wine as needed).
  8. Turkey time!
Notes:
I cook my 18 lb bird in a special, table top, turkey convection oven, which keeps the bird amazingly moist and cooks fairly quickly. The turkey and a turkey breast also do great stuffed, in a regular oven, with reduced heat and consistent basting. Stuffing a turkey breast cavity is similar to the bird, but you essentially rest turkey breast on top of the stuffing, covering it mostly and I add an extra egg to the stuffing in a turkey breast to keep it extra moistened throughout cooking. Whether a turkey breast or full bird, the bird is always roasted breast side up.
Recipe by the dinnervine at http://www.dinnervine.com/2012/11/thanksgiving-menu/